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Playground Vent - Page 8

post #141 of 178
"controlling the childs every action would be to step in at every situation and stop them from doing any and everything. but if my kid is being rude to someone, or being unfair in any way, then thats not okay with me."

See, in my opinion, "letting" them do whatever you would do in a situation is not freedom.

I don't remember how old your child is, but does this mean you never let them do anything that you disagree with, ever? I don't like it when my child breaks a rule but I'd much rather she find out about that rule from the other kids than from me following her and explaing that's not how to play.

I don't agree that letting kids play their own games by their own rules and enforcing them in their own way sends the message that everything they do is acceptable. There is also another message: "I'm not the police. I've told you what to do and it's your job to do it. If you aren't nice, you are going to face the consequences. Don't be surprised if later they don't want to play with you."

I don't want to be my children's one and only source of moral instruction. I know some people think the world's gone insane but I live in a community where most people and kids share my basic sense of fair play and decency and I would like my daughter to have the chance to get that from society at large as well. I think it will be much better taken.

And in fact, it has been. I notice that as she picks up rules from society, for example, taking turns (taking turns rarely comes up at home as she's the oldest of two but the second is still very small), are nearly always followed without a peep at home. When she knows it's a community rule that other kids and moms follow, she's much more likely to obey it, than when she feels it's a question of power between her and her parents.

There are things my child does that are not okay with me, but only mildly so, and that are not causing permanent or serious damage to anyone else, and I am going to let her deal with those. Likewise, when other people's kids do things that are unfair but not cruel (not taking turns on the swings, not waiting for the little ones to catch up, screaming in someone's face come to mind...) I'm not going to glare at their parents.

I wonder what all of you who think every instance of misbehavior needs to be corrected think of school or any group-care setting for older kids? Are you just opposed in principle to any situation in which children are allowed to make cultural faux-pas, act rudely, or generally not be nice without a specific consequence / instruction?
post #142 of 178
Because, seriously, since when does everything have to be "fair"? And who decides whats "fair"?? Is it fair that you have juice boxes and my kid has water? Is it fair that I brought cookies as a special treat and you only have apples? No, not really. Its just life. It is what it is. Lifes not always "fair" and learning *THAT* is part of growing up too.
post #143 of 178
There are many more shades of gray as to what is "fair" or "rude" as they get older. It usually boils down to a difference fo opinion rather than actual unfairness or rudeness, and that's something they have to work out on their own.
post #144 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by EdnaMarie View Post
"controlling the childs every action would be to step in at every situation and stop them from doing any and everything. but if my kid is being rude to someone, or being unfair in any way, then thats not okay with me."

See, in my opinion, "letting" them do whatever you would do in a situation is not freedom.

I don't remember how old your child is, but does this mean you never let them do anything that you disagree with, ever? I don't like it when my child breaks a rule but I'd much rather she find out about that rule from the other kids than from me following her and explaing that's not how to play.

It's not a matter of whether or not I disagree with something, so much as, is what he is doing affecting someone else in a negative way? My son is 2.5. If I let him do the things that I "disagree" with if you want to call it that, then he would be totally out of control. I don't get this whole attitude of letting them make their own decisions, when they have clearly already made the wrong decision. If my son and another child is playing together at the park, and my son grabs a toy out of the other childs hand, and that child says "hey, that's mine!" then hopefully my son will say sorry and give it back. And, I'm confident that he would. But, he didn't learn that on his own, I taught him to not grab and to say sorry when he does something wrong. And he is now at the point where he seems to understand that concept for the most part. He probably wouldn't grab in the first place. But if he didn't react that way, and give the toy back, or he responded by throwing sand in the boys direction or something, then yes I would say "no that's not your toy, that belongs to that little boy. You don't grab things from people, if he want's to share with you then he will." I think that is teaching him that you can't just do what you want when you want. Especially when he's 2.5. Likewise, if he has a toy that he doesn't feel like sharing, then I wouldn't make him share, even though I disagree with him and think he should, but its his toy and he can keep it to himself if he wants. But, if he expects others to share with him, then yes he has to share. I think there are decisions that you let a child make on their own and there are decisions that you step in and make for them. its parenting. if he made all of his own decisions then he wouldn't learn very much at all IMO. How is he supposed to know what behaviour is acceptable and what isn't?
post #145 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post
There are many more shades of gray as to what is "fair" or "rude" as they get older. It usually boils down to a difference fo opinion rather than actual unfairness or rudeness, and that's something they have to work out on their own.
I think that the basic rule of thumb though that we need to teach our children is that you treat others the way you want to be treated. And I think that they only get that when they are older if you teach them that when they are younger.
post #146 of 178
^^But it comes down to the fact that parents are not the only means of learning those social lessons; we plant the seed, but their experiences with other children are what ultimately reinforces what we've modeled for them . A toddler is more in the stage of "being kind" because we tell them to, but once they get to where they start to test those boundaries with peers, its no longer about taking turns because Mom said so, but because of the natural consequence of selfish behavior with peers. There comes a point when intervening too much may actually hinder that natural learning process.
post #147 of 178
so then, let your child do whatever they want and let them boss the other kids around and grab toys and throw sand? and then the natural consequence to that is now everyone thinks their a bully, and they are probably right.
post #148 of 178
And, why does it have to be all about the consequence? shouldnt we have higher standards than that? rather than saying, I choose not to steal because I don't want to go to jail, isn't it better to understand that its not right to steal and that's the reason for not doing it? I would much rather my son to not have to go through some consequences if they can be avoided in the first place.
post #149 of 178
i don't think i have seen anyone here saying they would let their child toss sand hit and push others down. i keep seeing that as a reason to not let kids have space to play on their own.
kids yelling, not sharing, running, etc... that doesn't mean they are bullies.
and someone commented that people who sit back and say give them space are the ones with the naughty kids... i don't feel that is true either. my kids get all sorts of space to play. i am one of those moms sitting across the play ground while my kids play on the play structure and build in the sand and swing on the swings. do my kids misbehave... sometimes. BUT over all they are good kids and play fair and treat others well. my kids LOVE playing with others and have since they were little guys. in fact every time we would leave the park they would have a "new best friend". what i have seen more often then not are kids playing well together. some one might be having a bad day, but over all the kids play fair, watch out for the little guys, share, work together to build huge castles in the sand. i don't think the area we lived in so unusual, because we found it again across the country kids playing together, having fun, sharing and the parents giving them room to do it.
i think what is happening here is there is some sort of fear going on. like every child is a potential bully. i don't see a 3 year old not wanting to share as being a bully, i see a kid learning the ropes of life. even one throwing sand (which isn't good) is just learning cause and effect ... the effect being that maybe he/she doesn't get to play in the sand if they can't control the throwing. but still just working thru being a person around other people. it is hard to learn what is ok and what is not. 3 is young, really young. i would never think a 3 year old was a bully. seems a bit of a stretch to me.

as for the OP, maybe trying another time at the park when it is less crowded. of leave the toys at home for your own sandbox/beach days etc. if you feel most comfortable being right next to your DC then do it... BUT realize not everyone needs that same level of closeness to feel comfortable.

and not every parent sitting across the play ground is neglectful and not watching their kids. they just have a different comfort level.

h
post #150 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrspineau View Post
so then, let your child do whatever they want and let them boss the other kids around and grab toys and throw sand? and then the natural consequence to that is now everyone thinks their a bully, and they are probably right.
Riiight, let's just go to extremes; that's always conducive to discussion. I didn't say not to correct the child, I am saying that ultimately they are going to learn from their interactions with peers. You can drive it into them over and over not to throw sand, but at some point most children are going to test those boundaries with their peers. I found that children (unlike adults) aren't so quick to label one another as "bullies" for inappropriate (but often age-expected) behavior, but often will wind up playing together once the boundaries have been established.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrspineau View Post
And, why does it have to be all about the consequence? shouldnt we have higher standards than that? rather than saying, I choose not to steal because I don't want to go to jail, isn't it better to understand that its not right to steal and that's the reason for not doing it? I would much rather my son to not have to go through some consequences if they can be avoided in the first place.
I don't believe children necessarily have a moral/ethical drive to act appropriately; that develops over time, beginning with making a connection between an action and the consequence, which is the foundation for morals/ethics.
post #151 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jugs View Post
^^But it comes down to the fact that parents are not the only means of learning those social lessons; we plant the seed, but their experiences with other children are what ultimately reinforces what we've modeled for them . A toddler is more in the stage of "being kind" because we tell them to, but once they get to where they start to test those boundaries with peers, its no longer about taking turns because Mom said so, but because of the natural consequence of selfish behavior with peers. There comes a point when intervening too much may actually hinder that natural learning process.
i like this. this is very true. it isn't until they put those lessons into action that we can even say they have learned them. it is when they test the waters (so to speak) maybe push a boundary that they see what people will tolerate.

in our old HS group the boys would wrestle alot. somewhere along the way they had a set of "rules" about what was expectable wrestling and what was not. and they followed them the kids who could not who were more aggressive would be left out. and they all learned what was ok and what wasn't. we moms (cuz it was mostly moms) sat back and watched. it was pretty amazing. i am sure to some it would have felt very "lord of the flies" but the kids knew the rules and no one would get hurt and they got their crazies out. eventually they moved on to something else. but it was neat watching them find that set of rules/boundaries and how everyone followed them.
post #152 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jugs View Post
Riiight, let's just go to extremes; that's always conducive to discussion. I didn't say not to correct the child, I am saying that ultimately they are going to learn from their interactions with peers. You can drive it into them over and over not to throw sand, but at some point most children are going to test those boundaries with their peers. I found that children (unlike adults) aren't so quick to label one another as "bullies" for inappropriate (but often age-expected) behavior, but often will wind up playing together once the boundaries have been established.


I don't believe children necessarily have a moral/ethical drive to act appropriately; that develops over time, beginning with making a connection between an action and the consequence, which is the foundation for morals/ethics.
You sound like you are in fact saying not to correct the child. that its more beneficial for them to learn from a consequence rather than from a parent. I don't believe that morals and ethics are founded upon making connection to consequence. and I think that lots of young children have a moral drive. they understand that certain things hurt others, and they, or at least mine and many others I have come across seem to genuinely not want to affect anyone else negatively. In fact, I believe they have a concern for others most times. If my son is in one room and hears a noise from the room that I am in he will yell out "mommy, are you okay?" if he has a treat and another child he is playing with doesn't, he will say "here you have some" If he accidentally runs into someone on the playground, he will say "im sorry excuse me" and not because he gets a time out or something if he doesn't, he is naturally concerned for others. and no, young children arent purposefully bullying anyone, because yes these are age appropriate behaviours. but the point is that whoever is the brunt of some of these behaviours is still going to feel bullied in a lot of cases, whether or not the behaviour was really intentional. it is true that children need to establish boundaries and will play together nicely once those are established, but why not help them to establish the boundaries so that the confrontation doesnt last longer than it has to? if it can be diffused by simply saying "that's not nice, that toy belongs to him" and then the child gives back the toy and they continue playing and the problem is solved? how can that be bad? the kid gets his toy, the other kid learns not to grab, and they stay friendly.
post #153 of 178
I have never said not to correct the child, I have said that all of parental intervention in the world will not replace the the lessons children learn from each other; ie. at some point our correcting them will be replaced by their peers teaching them that they won't tolerate XYZ behavior. That experience reinforces what we'd been teaching them... and sometimes we can teach them until we're blue in the face, yet it takes an upset peer to drive the lesson home.

ETA: parental supervision is important, especially with the littlest ones, but this idea that we'll achieve playground harmony if parents jump in at every skirmish just stymies me. If someone throws sand at my kid and my kid says "Stop throwing sand at me" and the child stops, why is it necessary for me or the other parent to step in if the situation has been rectified? A situation where the child doesn't stop throwing sand or the other doesn't stand up for himself, that's a whole other ball of wax which calls for adult intervention.
post #154 of 178
For one thing, as kids get older they don't always believe you when you say other kids won't like them doing something, and they test to see if other kids actually respond that way. But also, their real world interactions just generally back up what we've talked about. They have to have real word interactions to really internalize lessons IMO. It isn't about consequences to me, it's about allowing my kids to grow up by actually interacting with people, because telling them about things only does so much. Would I get involved if I saw sand getting thrown or someone getting bullied, excluded, hit, etc? Yes, even at 8. But I don't get involved in most interactions. Most things kids are able to work through between them, and I don't think parents help. I think in fact parents can complicate things. I've seen kids pretty well resolve an issue where everyone was happy, and then a parent comes and imposes a different plan, and the kids feel wronged because they were working through things and happy with where things were going.
post #155 of 178
Wow. I love the playground. My kids enjoy the space, the exercise, and they meet other kids and play. Its fun!
Most of the time, im sitting on a bench ,reading and drinking coffee. I keep a constant eye on them though, and intervene when necessary. If something looks difficult, I come over and listen carefully, and see if it needs attention. If not, I go back to my magazine. Im very hands off. I learned this from my older son who didn’t want to play with me

But im wathcing them all the time. And I enjoy it. I enjoy wathcing them interact etc, and I enjoy the challenge of dealing with some of the complexities.

If something happens, that I feel requires adult intervention, and the caregiver is nowhere to be seen, I ask the child-who is your nanny/mommy, and go over and explain to that person what is going on.

To the OP, just do that. Just go and tell them.

As for nannies and mommies and who sits where. Well, as a mommy, I sit where noone will talk to me, because I want to read my mag. Well, mainly i try to sit as close to kids as possible. I dont go the playground for conversation (unless I meet someone there deliberately). Im friendly though, but am focussing on kids/ and my mag.

As for sharing, I always ask ds if he is ok with sharing with such and such, and if he isnt, well he isnt.
Often I bring spare toys to offer other kids, because it creates a nice atmosphere, and models sharing to my kids. They also get to trade this way.
I can still go back to reading my mag after that.
Also, my kids are daring, and I am less hands on than many, so I often get the ‘your child is doing this…’
And I say ‘thankyou’. (im thanking them for there good intentions)
My youngest likes to take off his pants, I have no problem with this (most of the time) Ive had the nanny or two frown at me. Ive had people come up and tell me ‘your baby has no pants on’ and I look like I don’t know. But I do.
Im watching.

To the OP, just go over to the caregivers and tell them if something is bothering you.

maya
post #156 of 178
I was thinking about this thread on the weekend.

We went to a park we don't get to that often and there was a boy who was about 6 who had created quite an elaborate world in one end of the sandbox with about 2/3 the community toys this park happens to have at the playground and he was being quite bossy about it. He also had a helium balloon with a weight on it that all the other kids wanted and that he was investing a fair amount of time in guarding. He had a whole narrative going about it too, that it was a magic spell only the wizard could control. It wasn't especially subtle, he was waving it around saying how great it was but only he could make the magic.

He had pretty clearly spent a lot of time setting it up, but he was where there were about 7 younger kids in the sandbox with him who were all eyeing the toys that were a part of his 'castle.' I was keeping an eye on how it would all turn out.

My son and another couple of kids LOVED it. They were his willing slaves to follow his game, despite the fact that his game was mostly about keeping them out and about the older boy's superior err...magic powers (and the older boy, although creative about it, wasn't giving much quarter). Another boy did burst into tears about the balloon and was redirected over to the swings. No sand was thrown though.

In this case I personally felt that in the adult world, the game was pretty inappropriate. In most preschools, for example, I have a feeling there would be some kind of "lesson" involved in not hogging the magical powers.

But in the kid world, it was shaking out reasonably well. It was interesting to watch especially after following this thread. The older boy's play was not only at a pretty different level creatively (although my son could keep up, the other kids' ages went down to about) but it was quite a bit about power and in some ways archetypal power - the power-hungry wizard. I don't think the older boy needed a lesson in sharing - I think he was having a big lesson in enacting his imagination.

Towards the end the other kids did rush in and wreck some of the world he had built but the balloon and his magic powers were intact. Then his parents said he had to go and he shouted at the playground "You're all invited to my house next time!"

I dunno...sometimes I think we parents see what we want to see. Me too, and what I saw was pretty amazing.
post #157 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuildJenn View Post
I was thinking about this thread on the weekend.

We went to a park we don't get to that often and there was a boy who was about 6 who had created quite an elaborate world in one end of the sandbox with about 2/3 the community toys this park happens to have at the playground and he was being quite bossy about it. He also had a helium balloon with a weight on it that all the other kids wanted and that he was investing a fair amount of time in guarding. He had a whole narrative going about it too, that it was a magic spell only the wizard could control. It wasn't especially subtle, he was waving it around saying how great it was but only he could make the magic.

He had pretty clearly spent a lot of time setting it up, but he was where there were about 7 younger kids in the sandbox with him who were all eyeing the toys that were a part of his 'castle.' I was keeping an eye on how it would all turn out.

My son and another couple of kids LOVED it. They were his willing slaves to follow his game, despite the fact that his game was mostly about keeping them out and about the older boy's superior err...magic powers (and the older boy, although creative about it, wasn't giving much quarter). Another boy did burst into tears about the balloon and was redirected over to the swings. No sand was thrown though.

In this case I personally felt that in the adult world, the game was pretty inappropriate. In most preschools, for example, I have a feeling there would be some kind of "lesson" involved in not hogging the magical powers.

But in the kid world, it was shaking out reasonably well. It was interesting to watch especially after following this thread. The older boy's play was not only at a pretty different level creatively (although my son could keep up, the other kids' ages went down to about) but it was quite a bit about power and in some ways archetypal power - the power-hungry wizard. I don't think the older boy needed a lesson in sharing - I think he was having a big lesson in enacting his imagination.

Towards the end the other kids did rush in and wreck some of the world he had built but the balloon and his magic powers were intact. Then his parents said he had to go and he shouted at the playground "You're all invited to my house next time!"

I dunno...sometimes I think we parents see what we want to see. Me too, and what I saw was pretty amazing.
meh, now see to me, that's not necessarily a case that I would be stepping in, especially if he a) had picked up and started playing with the toys first, and chose not to share them, and b) was including other children in his game who seemed to be enjoying themselves.

I guess what it all boils down to is that the "hoverers" in this thread are not talking about hovering constantly over their kids shoulders and directing every action that is going on, but moreso stepping in when they feel that their child is being out of line, although they seem to be being accused of the first scenario. And the parents that they are complaining about are not necessarily the ones that are sitting on a bench reading a magazine while their child plays nicely with other children, they are complaining about the parents that see (or dont see because they arent paying attention) that their child is bothering someone in some way that they shouldnt be, and refusing to step in and correct them. I think that both sides probably just want a balance in the end.

I must say that scenario sounds pretty interesting to watch too though! what an imagination.
post #158 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by gcgirl View Post
Funny. I just read an article about bullying which specified that it's a cultural myth that standing up to bullies stops the bullying. In fact, it's more likely to make the bullying worse. What DOES work, according to the people who study the phenomenon, is a culture that does not tolerate bullying, and critically, ADULT INTERVENTION.
Actually, peer intervention was found to be even more effective. The best bully prevention is to teach kids to speak up when another kid's in trouble. Of course, that's for real bullying that's at a different level than playground aggression. On the playground, it's fine if the behavior is only stopped when the kid feels like there's supervision.
post #159 of 178
Quote:
"I don't get this whole attitude of letting them make their own decisions, when they have clearly already made the wrong decision."

"How is he supposed to know what behaviour is acceptable and what isn't?"
I think this probably has more to do with the difference in our children's ages than anything else. As your son grows older, you will begin to see the necessity of letting him make bad decisions and live with the consequences.

Right now, your son is still half-baby, 1/4 toddler, and perhaps 1/4 kid (if he's really mature for his age).

I am speaking as the parent of a 1/4 baby, 1/4 toddler, and 1/2 kid. (She's three and a half.) Kids need to make mistakes to learn. That includes social and moral mistakes.

And once again, this of course does not extend to physical violence or badgering.
post #160 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by EdnaMarie View Post
I think this probably has more to do with the difference in our children's ages than anything else. As your son grows older, you will begin to see the necessity of letting him make bad decisions and live with the consequences.

Right now, your son is still half-baby, 1/4 toddler, and perhaps 1/4 kid (if he's really mature for his age).

I am speaking as the parent of a 1/4 baby, 1/4 toddler, and 1/2 kid. (She's three and a half.) Kids need to make mistakes to learn. That includes social and moral mistakes.

And once again, this of course does not extend to physical violence or badgering.
And I do agree with that, although I suppose its a matter of opinion to the adult what is considered badgering or inappropriate. I think that when the mistakes have to be at someone elses expense its not really okay
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